wed 23/04/2014

CD: Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood of Colour | New music reviews, news & interviews

CD: Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood of Colour

Third album from Hertfordshire electro-tinged heavy rockers is full of zest

Enter Shikari: a garish portal to playful metal with added synthesisers

Of all the unlikely and incompatible collisions of genre imaginable, thrash metal with clubland trance must be pretty near the top of the tree. One is beefy, roaring, angry and punctuated by vocals akin to a dyspeptic troll burping, the other is electronic, poppy, air-headedly euphoric and can contain divas wailing banalities. This combination, however, was the horse a young St Albans band chose to ride for their 2006 debut single “Sorry You’re Not a Winner”. It summed Enter Shikari up and – although they’ve moved on musically since – it still does; the gutsy earnestness of metal but with electropop melodies and party frivolity.

The new album, their third, excluding two compilations and three live sets, opens with “System…”, a snappy, string-washed tilt at the recession in suburban geezer accents: “There was a house in a field on the side of a cliff/ And the waves crashing below were just said to be a myth/ So they ignored the warnings from the ships in the docks/ Now the house on the cliff is the wreckage on the rocks”. This theme pops up throughout but Enter Shikari are fidgety magpies whose array of lyrical ideas and musical styles is both clanging and invigorating. Their core sound is Lostprophets-ish but harder, ie, heavy rock with tunes you remember, but consistently spiked with dubstep wob, drum and bass, madcap techno bleeps and, upon occasion, they even sound like The Streets. They’re also completely unafraid of going off-piste - “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi” implodes halfway through with its gnarled death metal growls interrupted by a voice advising, “Calm down, mate, calm down, remember Gandhi”, and the single “Sssnakepit” closes with the most incongruous Louis Armstrong impression in pop history.

Behind it all is a very modern pop suss that has seen them flirt with the charts since their inception. Their pacy antics are much more fun than the po Kerrang!-friendly pose of Pendulum and, in any case, any band who have the cool-free cheek to call a song “Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannocide” is definitely worth a punt.

Watch the video for "Sssnakepit" (which, sadly - but possibly wisely from a commercial perspective - doesn't include the album version's Louis Armstrong impression)

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